Gupta sits in on refinery presentations

Vol 12, PW 4 (10 Jul 08) News in Brief

Lakshmi Narayan Gupta, the oil ministry’s new joint secretary refineries, has had a hectic first month in his new job.

Appointed on June 4, with no prior oil ministry experience, Gupta has been attending presentations from state-owned oil refiners. “So far Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL have made presentations,â€‌ reports a ministry source.

“He is new to the oil sector but is learning fast.â€‌ Reliance and Essar have yet to tell Gupta about their wonderful refineries in Gujarat.

Gupta was the personal choice of oil minister Murli Deora: like Deora, Gupta is also from Rajasthan. Gupta joined the IAS from Orissa in 1986 but his only energy sector related experience was a brief seven-month stint last year as chairman of state-owned Orissa Power Generation Corporation.

After that he moved to Delhi as Orissa’s Resident Commissioner. Aged 48, Gupta succeeds Prabh Das, who stepped down on March 6 this year to join the HPCL-Mittal Bhatinda refinery project as CEO.